OSHA fines nursing home for failing to protect staff from violent residents

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CNAs reported a variety of injuries
CNAs reported a variety of injuries

A federal investigation has found a Colorado nursing home failed to adequately protect staff from residents who grabbed, kicked, bit and punched at them, causing cuts and bruises.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration this week issued a citation and fined Pioneer Health Care Center in Rocky Ford more than $9,000.

The nursing home has three weeks to decide whether it will contest the penalties. If it accepts OSHA's findings, Pioneer must resolve them by installing more security cameras and security alarms, removing dangerous items from the rooms of patients identified as violent and improving training and staffing levels. Those recommendations were in OSHA's investigative report, according to the Denver Post.

Emails seeking comment from the facility's operations director and director of nursing were not answered by production deadline.

The 99-bed Pioneer center has two buildings, with skilled nursing in one and specialized services for dementia care and behavioral health — including mental illness and traumatic brain injuries — in another.

OSHA said its complaint-based investigation followed incidents of violence on or around Aug. 7, 2017. It found certified nursing assistants suffered “bites, sprains, broken skin, bruising, scratches, soft tissue trauma, and injuries to the head and torso from punches, kicks, and forceful grabs.” It is unclear in which building the incidents took place.